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How to practice without annoying the neighbours

“Silence is so freaking loud.” - Sarah Dessen

So, the other day I was chatting on Reddit with a guy who was interested in learning to play guitar, but was concerned about his neighbours.

He says he lives in a small apartment and has a lot of sensitive neighbours, so to say…

OK, fortunately I’ve never had this problem in my life, but I’m sure many of you might, so let’s see what we can do to make sure that this does not hurt our practice schedule nor our plans for World domination.

If you are playing an acoustic guitar, the easiest way to solve this problem is just playing softly. Yes, just don’t hit the strings so hard, and you should be alright.

However, the real issue is when you are playing an electric guitar, of course.

If you are like me and like a lot of rock, you might be tempted to crank up the volume knob. That’s when the trouble might come in.

You can solve this in a few ways:

  • Use headphones.

Yes, it’s that simple. Many amplifiers come already with a headphone output, which you can use to play as loud as you can and not bother the whole army of cranky neighbours that will start banging your walls non-stop.

  • Turn the volume down.

Yes, you don’t need to play so loud. We’re just practicing, not playing live.

  • Play in a conditioned room.

This is the last thing I would recommend you try. It is possible to have a room conditioned for playing; maybe you want to practice with your band there, and that is fine. However, having such a room only for your practice is going a bit too far in my opinion. But, if you want it, you can have it. You will need to isolate the walls with acoustic material to prevent the sound from going through the walls. If you want, let me know and we can learn more about how to do this.

Hope this will help you not get an evil look from your neighbours, and maybe also not have the cops knocking at your door so often.

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